Yesterday morning, me and my mother embarked on a tour of the South Hebron Hills guided by Breaking The Silence. I highly recommend the tour, if you ever have an opportunity to take it. I was impressed at how positive it was. No anti-Zionistic sentiment seemed to be involved, just a sense of collective responsibility. During the tour, one of the things that repeatedly struck me was how beautiful the West Bank is — and what an eye-sore the occupation is, with its soldiers, vehicles, barriers and all.
Just now I was at the weekly demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem, and again I was struck by the ugliness of the occupation. The Palestinian houses seem to be in much better shape than the homes occupied by settlers, which in one case sported badly graffiti’d stars of David all around its door.
I can easily understand why someone would want to build a house on the West Bank and live there, somewhat in isolation, surrounded by the charming hilly landscape. The thought is quite tempting, really.
But what are we doing to this country? The occupation disrespects not only the people who live here, but the very land itself! How do self-professed lovers of Israel support the regime that scars the landscape with vandalism and the colors of concrete and steel, jeeps and uniforms? You’d expect them to take better care of what they call a Holy Land.
Do those in favor of the settlements and occupation have some kind of fetish I’m not aware of, or are they simply intent not only on performing ugly deeds but on deforming a beautiful landscape?